I'm not sure if the actual candidates in the election are randomly ordered, but I've noticed that as the default (is rightly imo) set to show the highest voted answer - currently David Postill appears to be the 'most popular' candidate.

However in the respects of being fair, and ensuring that everyone has a equal chance of being 'top' and being viewed first by any readers - is it possible to randomise the order at which the answers appear?

This should likely apply to nominations; answered questions, preliminary and election stages too.


1 Answer 1


I am pleased to inform you that when the election voting begins, the order will be randomized. That applies to both the primary (if we end up having one) and the final election. Source: this MSE FAQ.

Nominations are shown in chronological order with the newest at the top. This makes some sense; it makes it easier to find any new candidates one might not have read about yet. Since there's no voting in the nomination stage, the deterministic ordering shouldn't be a problem.

The questionnaire answers are by default ordered by votes, which could conceivably influence choices. As mentioned in Monica Cellio's answer to the MSE question linked by M.A.R. in the comments, it is encouraged that candidates link their questionnaire answers in their nominations. The inbox notification that goes out to potential voters links to the election page, where the candidates (and therefore the links to their answers) will be found in random order, at least partially mitigating the issue.

I do agree that it would be neat to have a magic tag that causes random ordering of answers, kind of like how causes the answer text box to be prefilled with the community ads template. That would be an almost client-side-only change, but would still take a bit of developer time.

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